Don't look in mirrors while lucid dreaming: 5 strategies

In this blog post, I am making a point about not looking in mirrors while lucid dreaming and I give 5 strategies to avoid it.

For those not familiar with lucid dreaming, here's what you need to know.

What is Lucid Dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon in which a person becomes aware that they are dreaming while they are still in the dream state.         

This can allow you, the dreamer, to have some control over the dream, such as the ability to change the dream's plot or manipulate the environment.

If you want to know more about this, make sure you read my other article:

Becoming aware that you are dreaming can enhance self-discovery, unlock profound insights, confront fears, and even indulge in some fantastical experiences.

However, expert lucid dreamers know that there are some things that you don't want to do while lucid dreaming.

In this blog post, I look into one of these, specifically the advice by many experts not to look in mirrors during lucid dreams, and I offer 5 strategies to avoid that will appeal both beginners and advanced lucid dreamers.

Lucid Dreaming and Mirrors

The Allure of Mirrors

Mirrors have a mystique allure that transcends cultures and time periods. They symbolize self-reflection, truth, and even portals to other realms in folklore and literature.

In the waking world, mirrors serve as practical tools for grooming and self-assessment. However, in the realm of dreams, mirrors take on a different significance, often becoming sources of fascination, curiosity, and even trepidation for lucid dreamers.

So what happens if you look in mirrors while lucid dreaming?

The Uncanny Nature of Mirror Reflections

In lucid dreams, mirrors behave in unpredictable and often unsettling ways. While some dreamers report seeing distorted or morphing reflections, others encounter entirely different personas staring back at them.

These two examples of dreamers who looked into mirrors are mentioned by Rebecca Casale from They give you an understanding of what you might be running into when looking into a mirror in a lucid dream:

Dreamer #1

I turn to face a mirror by the front door to see what I look like. It looks like me, but older, with messy hair and scary eyes. As if she reads my mind, the reflection starts to age rapidly and I get older and older. It's like the scene from the original Time Machine movie, a sort of stop-motion effect. My skin wrinkles and my hair goes gray and I am haggard. I am an old lady, with my mouth wide open. Then my teeth crumble and fall out and I become a corpse! I have just sped through my life. Man that was ugly!

Dreamer #2

I look in the mirror and my left eye is massive and bulbous, at least 5 times bigger than it should be and popping out of my head. I am not that surprised though, and I poke at it to see if I can dislodge the thing that's causing all the scratchiness. Then it suddenly hits me that my eye should not be this big! I become lucid and get out of there fast. I don't want to see the giant eye anymore.

Experiences like the ones above can evoke feelings of unease, confusion, or even existential dread, disrupting your sense of control and stability within the dream environment.

In cases like the ones above, mirrors can well be a reflection of your subconscious mind.

    The Reflection of the Subconscious

    Psychologists and dream researchers propose that mirrors in dreams serve as symbolic gateways to the subconscious mind. In the mirror's reflection, one may encounter suppressed emotions, hidden desires, or aspects of the self that are usually concealed from conscious awareness.

    For some, confronting these subconscious elements can lead to profound insights and personal growth. However, for others, the experience may trigger anxiety, fear, or a sense of existential disorientation.

    The Risk of Distorted Self-Perception

    In lucid dreams, the boundaries between reality and illusion blur, leading to altered perceptions of self and surroundings. When gazing into a mirror within a dream, the dreamer may perceive themselves differently than they do in waking life.

    I turn to face a mirror by the front door to see what I look like. It looks like me, but older, with messy hair and scary eyes.

    This distorted self-perception can have profound psychological implications, influencing the dreamer's sense of identity, self-esteem, and even mental well-being upon awakening.

    The Potential for Nightmares and Negative Emotions

    For some lucid dreamers, encountering their reflection in a dream triggers intense feelings of fear, anxiety, or dread. This reaction may stem from a subconscious fear of confronting unresolved issues or repressed emotions.

    In some cases, the mirror itself may become a focal point for nightmarish scenarios or manifestations of inner turmoil, leading to a negative dream experience that lingers upon waking.

    As you can see, looking into mirrors in a lucid dreams can have unexpected consequences. While for some it can be an experiment, for others it could easily turn into an unpleasant experience.

    So what can you do to avoid looking into mirrors while lucid dreaming? Here's some practical strategies to consider.

    Practical Strategies for Avoiding Mirrors in Lucid Dreams

    1. Set an Intention Before Sleep

    Before entering the dream state, set a clear intention to avoid mirrors or any reflective surfaces during your lucid dreaming adventures.

    2. Use Dream Incubation Techniques

    Practice visualization or affirmation techniques to cultivate positive dream scenarios while discouraging mirror encounters.

    3. Redirect Your Attention

    If you find yourself near a mirror in a lucid dream, consciously shift your focus to other aspects of the dream environment or engage in dream control techniques to alter the scene.

    4. Create Protective Barriers

    Visualize protective barriers or obstacles between yourself and any mirrors within the dream landscape, effectively blocking access to reflective surfaces.

    5. Use Dream Exit Strategies

    If a mirror encounter triggers discomfort or anxiety, employ lucid dreaming exit strategies such as waking yourself from the dream or transitioning to a different dream scenario.


    In the realm of lucid dreaming, mirrors represent both a gateway to the subconscious and a potential source of psychological turbulence.

    While some dreamers may embrace the challenge of confronting their reflections in pursuit of self-discovery, many experts caution against this practice due to its unpredictable and often unsettling nature.

    By avoiding mirrors in lucid dreams and focusing on positive dream experiences, dreamers can cultivate a deeper sense of inner harmony, exploration, and lucid awareness within the boundless expanse of the dream world.

    Whether you're a seasoned lucid dreamer or embarking on your first journey into the realm of dreams, remember: sometimes, the truest reflections lie not in the mirror, but within the depths of your own consciousness.


    Featured image by Milada Vigerova on

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